Overcoming the Challenges of COVID-19: A Multiple Case Study on Business Model Experimentation During a Crisis.

Live Aamo & Tuva Bakke Martinussen

Student thesis: Master thesis


When the COVID-19 pandemic rapidly spread across the globe, its detrimental effects created an immediate need for organizational response. This research investigates incumbent firms’ business model innovation efforts in a case study on two Norwegian hospitality firms within the restaurant and bar segment whose initial business models became periodically obsolete due to the governmental restrictions employed during the COVID-19 pandemic. We found that experimentation was leveraged in an effort to find configurations which could improve firm performance, and that trial-and-error processes were of great importance in the development of such configurations when an immediate organizational response was required. Furthermore, radical experimentation provided effective responses to the COVID-19 pandemic to a high degree, while incremental experimentation rather enhanced performance when performed subsequent to a radical experiment. Additionally, this research recognizes the importance of prior learning and external sources of knowledge for rapid organizational renewal.

EducationsMSc in Management of Innovation and Business Development, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2021
Number of pages113
SupervisorsLee N. Davis